Bust stable boredom during the long winter nights by introducing a toy. We look at the different types on the market, as well as how they work, so that you can pick the right one to keep your four-legged friend entertained.

The further through the winter we go, the wetter and muddier our fields become. At many yards this means that your horse can’t have as much field turnout as they or you would like, and consequently they have to spend more time in the stable. This can lead to boredom and frustration, but providing them with stimulation and enrichment in the form of stable toys will help to keep them relaxed and occupied until they can next stretch their legs.

In this buyer’s guide we look at a range of boredom busters — from carrot balls to stable licks and trickle feeders to activity balls — and how they work, ensuring that the most suitable choice for your horse is a no-brainer for you.

What are your options?

The aim of most stable toys is to mimic what your horse would do in the wild as they forage for food. Some will slow their eating so that their forage ration will last a little longer, while others will offer stimulation and will keep their brain occupied.

Making meals last longer

Using a toy to help make your horse’s forage or hard feed last longer will mean that they spend more time eating and less time just standing in their stable or walking around making a mess.

Stable licks

A stable lick is a popular choice for many owners. Some hang freely, making it more of a challenge for your horse to lick it as it moves. Others fix to the wall and spin. This type of toy offers your horse mental stimulation. Some licks mimic a more natural way of feeding, but all of them will help to keep your horse occupied for hours, meaning that they stay more relaxed and happy.

Shop for stable toys and slow feeders

Kramer Treat and Activity Ball

RRP £22.90


Simply fill the angular ball with treats and, when your horse nudges the ball, it starts to move and a treat will fall out. A simple and fun way to relieve boredom in the stable. It can also be used in the field.

Showmaster Hay Bag Goliath II

RRP £59.90


This large, sturdy hay bag with strategically placed holes slows down how quickly your horse can eat their ration. You can make it more challenging by hanging the bag freely in their stable. This hay bag comes complete with large snap hooks and a rope.

Haygain Forager

RRP £295


This slow feeder extends mealtimes without frustrating your horse. More time eating equals less time for boredom behaviours and food scarcity stress, especially for those on restricted diets.

Haygain’s Forager also facilitates eating in a lowered-head position, mimicking a more natural feeding position. Your horse’s hay is contained off the floor, reducing waste and keeping it cleaner. The Forager has two interchangeable regulator grids – easy and standard – meaning that you can pick the one which best suits your horse.

NAF Himalayan Salt Lick

RRP £2.99 (small), £4.50 (medium), £5.99 (large)


Horses will self-supplement with salt to meet their needs for maintenance, but stabled horses will require supplementary salt on a daily basis. Himalayan rock salt is the purest form you can give. These salt licks don’t contain unnatural flavours and they can be hung in a stable or a field.

Likit Boredom Breaker

RRP £32.95 (Likits and Little Likits sold separately)


The Boredom Breaker is not only fun to use, but it serves a serious purpose by helping to relieve boredom and stress. This toy is designed to be hung in the stable freely, away from any walls, for the maximum challenge.

Horslyx Balancers

RRP from £17.48 for 5kg


Horslyx balancers can be the ultimate boredom breakers as licking takes time and patience. They are low in sugar, making them suitable for all horses, ponies and donkeys, including those prone to laminitis. Horslyx balancers contain optimum levels of vitamins, minerals and trace elements all in one tub. They are available in Original, Mint, Garlic, Mobility, Respiratory and Pro Digest.

Carrot Ball

RRP £25.99


Your horse will love playing with the carrot ball, which helps to increase dexterity and encourages learning with treats as a reward. The innovative Hug & Tug feature allows varied pressure inside the ball to change the effort required to remove the carrots.

Covalliero Hay Ball

RRP £62.99


This durable plastic horse feeding ball can be filled with up to 3kg of hay. The ball has 19 feed openings that will keep your horse occupied as they remove the hay, helping to extend eating time.

Bizzy Ball from Bizzy Horse

RRP £32.50


The innovative Bizzy Ball can be used in three different ways – on the floor, hanging up or in the Bizzy Wall Bracket (sold separately). Not only does this allow you to move it around, it also means three times the fun. The long lasting Bizzy Licks are available in four tasty flavours – original, apple, mint and garlic.

Coligone Healthy Lick

RRP £29 (5kg), £43 (10kg)


Designed to help alleviate boredom and associated stress, while also providing a high level of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, Coligone’s Healthy Lick is low in sugar (6%) is palatable and includes scFOS and MOS prebiotics and yeasacc to encourage good bacteria in the hindgut.

Hay Play Feeder

RRP £50


An innovative way to feed your horse their daily forage intake, the Hay Play feeder stimulates a natural grazing position and can be used in the stable or field. The spherical shape allows the ball to be freely pushed around by the equine, but it also challenges your horse and slows down their eating. It will hold 3kg of hay.

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